I am grateful to writing.com, the hands-down best writing website out there.
|I turned eighteen in 1987, and my mother gave me a word processor for my birthday. It had a tiny screen where your typing would appear, two lines at a time, so you could check for mistakes before hitting the print key. I remember how thrilled I was to go off to college that year with this new gadget – and how much easier it became to type essays and poetry for classes. Nobody I knew had a personal computer, and the word “Internet” sounded like something out of a science fiction book.
Today the Internet is something I can’t imagine ever having lived without. What an amazing, seemingly infinite land of amusement and information! I still remember using the ‘net for the first time, maybe in 1994 or 1995. I’d just started working as an educational writer, and so one of my first search queries was “writing.” I don’t remember exactly what I found, but I can tell you I wasn't impressed.
The only site I remember grabbing my attention was poetry.com; soon, though, I was bored there. I entered their contest, I read a few poems, and I left. I hadn’t written much poetry, or anything creative, in years, and I couldn’t find any motivation online. That part of my life seemed over, in exchange for the dry reading comprehension passages I wrote for money. After two failed Internet relationships, I stopped using the ‘net altogether for a few years.
When my best friend killed herself in October of 2002, though, I found myself scrambling for support in a world where no one seemed to understand. I plugged the computer back in and started writing to people online. Acting on a tip from one online friend, I saw writing.com for the first time before the end of that year.
Almost everything you see in my port is the result of writing done since that day. From the time I reached out to my first person at writing.com to this moment here at my keyboard, my life has been genuinely transformed. Not just by the incredible opportunities and resources at writing.com… not just by the fire lit under my muse, sending her dipping into imagination-land anew… but also by fellow writers who, like me, have found in others here an honest critic and hand of friendship.
New and young writers are supported and encouraged by those with more experience. There are teachers here, and students, and everyone gets to play both roles. There are contests, review forums, support groups, activities, and annual in-person conventions. And there are talented people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to constantly improve what is already, unquestionably, the best writing site on the Internet.
I owe writing.com a big chunk of my sanity and a huge hug. This place is home to me now. Its members are my kin. And for as long as it is here, I will be too.